Thoughts on starting a new role (6): finding a voice

The whole point of my adventure into social media in the past year was to enrich the core aspects of my parish ministry. Hence regular blogging of my Sunday sermons and tweeting of short messages to remind, deepen and apply, building on my preaching/teaching ministry. Social media ought not to be a bolt on extra, but an added dimension to what is already central.

So how might it work in my new role in clergy development? In a parish ministry the target group is clear, so too the subject matter. But while the target group is clear, what is that subject matter to now be ? I guess the strategy needs to be the same: an added dimension to what is central. But that, in itself, is still far from clear.

So how might social media support and stimulate fellow clergy to reflect and act out of conviction in their daily workaday ministries? How about this for a start?

So often we are moving so fast that we can spend whole days acting reactively rather than proactively. The urgent or most insistent voice, even the “good” jostles the “best” out of the way. How might social media be used to prompt and encourage what Stephen Covey calls so aptly “response-ability”?

In Christian theological terms this is the “freedom for which Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1), and we have a duty to no longer allow ourselves to be enslaved again by anything. That is about embracing this grace daily, consciously, intentionally!

So I wonder how I might use social media to remind, deepen and apply the good news of this grace for the particular group of brothers and sisters in Christ that I am called to serve?

More suggestions gratefully received!

But in the meantime its time to try to start blogging and tweeting something regularly again. Like so much in life you find it by doing it even if you are currently not sure what “it” is (2 Corinthians 5:7)!



Thoughts on starting a new role (1): out of the comfort zone

Twenty five years growing experience is a long time. The Dreyfus model of skills aquisistion traces that journey, from Novice to Expert. It is the path that I have followed in parish ministry in three different ministries and contexts: a Surrey market town as a curate, Council estate as a team vicar and rector, and then fifteen years as a Chaplain to an international church in Basel.

Transitioning into a new Diocesan role in clergy development and making the cross cultural step from living in Germany to Britain isn't going back to the very beginning. But it will be about starting at a new place, learning new skills and how to apply them and my previous experience in a new context. That is both exciting and challenging!

Sometimes words stand out bright and clear when reading the Bible, speaking into life “as it is” with urgency and reassuring clarity. Here are some I have been “sitting with” for a couple of weeks now:

.. my soul clings to You. Your right hand holds me fast.” Psalm 63:8

Although originally a psalm crying out to God in the face of danger, it has power and relevance for any situation that takes us beyond our preferred comfort zones and expertise. It is about rooting such change in the One who never changes, alllowing it to be so centred in Him that it feels like the sensation of longing and thirsting (v1). And the promise back is of an abudance we can only dream of

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. (v3).

Here goes into my first day!